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Chester’s Release at Carousel

Gulf World Marine Institute (GWMI) is releasing “Chester”, the loggerhead sea turtle into the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday, October 24th at 9:00 am across from the Carousel Supermarket at 19440 Front Beach Road, Panama City Beach. Educational set up and chat with volunteers will begin at 830, release will begin promptly at the sea turtle’s arrival at 9! Please make sure to arrive early! Chester was rescued from the M.B. Miller County Pier on August 2nd after an accidental hooking. Pier staff safely secured the sea turtle until GWMI staff could arrive. Chester had line trailing from his/her mouth, which the pier staff left in place. After being brought to GWMI for a veterinary exam, it was found with x-ray imaging that Chester had two hooks lodged in the esophagus. Chester received an esophagotomy, a type of surgery used for hook removal in some sea turtles. This hook measured over 5 cm long, which is very large for this young turtle’s mouth! After recovering from surgery, Chester began eating and swimming normally. The sea turtle has been medically cleared by GWMI veterinary staff and cleared for release by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. The public is invited to attend this event. GWMI would like to thank Bay County Pier staff and the Panama City Beach Turtle Watch for their dedicated efforts and partnerships with GWMI. It is important that the public leave gear on the animal and allow trained professionals to remove it in order to prevent further problems.